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Do Virtuoso & FS Preferred Partner Travel Agents charge a fee for hotel bookings?

Do Virtuoso & FS Preferred Partner Travel Agents charge a fee for hotel bookings?

Old Jun 3, 11, 5:57 am
  #16  
 
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I second DavidO. He doesn't charge a fee and is really responsive.
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Old Jun 3, 11, 8:23 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by rm76 View Post
I should have asked this question before I made my booking for the FS Firenze last year. The FSPP agent I used charged a $150 "deposit" for organizing the trip and was clear to say it wasn't a "fee" but was nonrefundable if I canceled or substantially reduced the booking.
Not unheard of at the high-end..... A certain DC area agency is now at a min rate of $100.00 to "review" your request. More power to them as everyone is entitled to earn a living I say. rm76, you can PM me as required.

Last edited by ABG; Jun 3, 11 at 8:34 pm
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Old Jun 4, 11, 12:53 am
  #18  
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Charging any sort of fee for an FTer is crazy. When I book, I send the agent the dates I want and it is a 5 minute job for him. He has had no marketing expense, has given me no advice and will get a very generous commission on the booking. If you are asked for a fee on top in this scenario, walk away.
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Old Jun 4, 11, 4:25 am
  #19  
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I would understand it if an agent charged a booking fee for organizing an entire trip including airfare, ground transportation, hotels, private guides etc. and has to invest quite a bit of time to organize the itinerary (plus some of the things listed above are generally not commissionable).

But charging an extra fee for making a simple hotel booking or looking up rates/amenities?

AFAIK TAs receive 10% commission at most hotels. Rates at hotels associated with Virtuoso rarely cost less than $200/night and often can be >$1000/night, so the TAs get a decent kickback most of the time.
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Old Jun 4, 11, 7:21 am
  #20  
 
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Old Jun 4, 11, 12:08 pm
  #21  
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Thank you all very much for all your help and advice. It is very much appreciated.
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Old Jun 12, 11, 9:00 pm
  #22  
 
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Have used ABG on many bookings in over a year. Very satisfied and of course no extra fees, just great benefits and service.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 2:16 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
I would understand it if an agent charged a booking fee for organizing an entire trip including airfare, ground transportation, hotels, private guides etc. and has to invest quite a bit of time to organize the itinerary (plus some of the things listed above are generally not commissionable).

But charging an extra fee for making a simple hotel booking or looking up rates/amenities?

AFAIK TAs receive 10% commission at most hotels. Rates at hotels associated with Virtuoso rarely cost less than $200/night and often can be >$1000/night, so the TAs get a decent kickback most of the time.

That is an assumption that the hotel actually pays the commission, which would be nice if they did. But unfortunately it is not always the case, and many hours can be spent chasing this down, for what $20? not really worth it in some instances, also knowing Expedia/ T.City get around 20% ++ for the same room/rate and do what for this payment?


But as you rightly say if someone only wants a straight forward hotel booking then no fee is charged. Though I expect fees for hotels or anything done by TA's are likely to increase as loyalty to agents decreases.

The other thing which is probably not recognised in the hotel only scenario

- client calls up "I want a hotel in NY around $400 for a luxury room near times sq for one night"

Travel agent gets to work, for a potential $40.

Virtuoso hotels, consortia rates (ABC, CCR and in house rates) the hotel website and the other OTA's (expedia etc) all need to be compared for a suggestion on 3/4 hotels. As I would expect most people on FT would double check the rates they got offered were the best available. If the agent happens to miss a special deal somewhere does he get the booking?

Last edited by ajinlondon; Jun 14, 11 at 2:33 pm
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Old Aug 21, 11, 4:56 pm
  #24  
 
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How do you get in contact with DavidO?
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Old Aug 21, 11, 9:56 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by KiwiQ2002 View Post
How do you get in contact with DavidO?
An FT Private Message will work, or david at metaphortravel dot com
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Old Aug 22, 11, 6:22 am
  #26  
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Another bump for David O...never met someone who responds to emails faster.

Very plugged in especially with FS/Ritz.
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Old Aug 22, 11, 7:04 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by ajinlondon View Post
But as you rightly say if someone only wants a straight forward hotel booking then no fee is charged. Though I expect fees for hotels or anything done by TA's are likely to increase as loyalty to agents decreases.
This is self-fulfilling, no?

If an agent charged me a fee for relatively simple transactions, I'd be a lot less likely to stay loyal.
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Old Aug 22, 11, 11:19 am
  #28  
 
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Virtuoso/FSPP

There are some excellent options with respect to luxury travel agents on FT.
I've had nothing but superb service from DavidO who is professional, responsive and extremely knowledgeable...and very well connected!
I'm a loyal FHR traveler although that is changing due to David's services.
He often has the best amenity packages/prices at Rosewood and FS properties.
I don't believe he charges a fee as he's paid a commission from the hotel. My preference is to use David for everything travel but it's not worth his while to book our lower-end, softball rooms ...his speciality is LUXURY!
Caveat - I'm spontaneous and indecisive therefore there are occasions i just click on fhr to save David from my torture.
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Old Aug 22, 11, 3:26 pm
  #29  
 
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Virtuoso/FSPP travel agent

i forgot to include an important detail....

as in any industry exemplary service includes fine tuning the minute details. i've noticed when booking with davidO i often find unique amenities that show up throughout my stay, those special little things: personalized momentos, notes, treats and drinks AND when all is said and done he follows up to make certain the trip met or exceeded expectations.

something i consider when booking with a professional vs clicking online.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 3:49 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by jordyn View Post
This is self-fulfilling, no?

If an agent charged me a fee for relatively simple transactions, I'd be a lot less likely to stay loyal.
I was referring to new clients , i.e. some of my coworkers charge upfront fees to new clients. If I know a client is shopping around I would be more inclined to charge a fee also, if I loose them so be it. The value add I bring is worth it.
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